How to choose affiliate programs
What to look for when choosing Affiliate Programs
by Jonathan Kraft
(Note: This is an old article, but I placed it here because the tips in this article should be a good reminder of things to look for when you're choosing new online partners!)
So you've decided you want to become an Internet Marketer? Will you sell someone else's products or sell your own? If you choose to sell someone else's products, how will you know what to look for? After all, this is a new venture for you.
Or maybe it's not. Maybe you have been trying out some affiliate programs which have not brought you any money, or, worse, have not paid you for the affiliate traffic you have sent them.
If you are the new person, or the person who is floundering in Internet Marketing, this article will offer you some simple tips for choosing an affiliate program. This article doesn't cover getting traffic to your site, which is another huge piece of the puzzle, and is covered in thousands of articles on the Internet, so let's just start with choosing affiliate programs.
You should find affiliate programs that: a) are relatively easy to set up (code is either created for you or easy to create) b) will pay you well. This depends on your definition of what being paid well means, but generally, for most beginners, and some novices, if you can see yourself being able to make more than $250/month, the program is at least worth looking at c) give you products which people actually use. There are lots of products in the market which will sell, but do you really want to be selling pet rocks? If you do, please don't take offense.
Most legitimate affiliate advice sites won't feature affiliate programs that are exclusively selling something like 8-Track players and tapes. While there are probably collectors out there who would love an 8-track player and cassettes, the fact is that the market is done with 8-tracks.
The point is, there should be a genuine need for, or interest in, what you are selling/reselling. So you find a program which meets the above criteria. Now what? Do a Google search on the company. Find out what people are saying about them. You may have to dig a bit to wade through all the junk that people often develop, and this is just as true in affiliate marketing as anywhere else. However, the combined experience of the professionals (and not-so-professionals) you find online, working in affiliate programs, will be of great help to you! Find professionals who give you good information about affiliate marketing, and then sign up for their newsletters, or make sure that you frequent their blogs. Their tips and ideas will be what helps you to really have success online!
If you want advice on some great affiliate programs, you can visit sites which have already reviewed the information about companies and present it to you in a straightforward way (such as www.affiliateadvice.us, or www.affiliateguide.com - which is owned by Graeham, a great marketer from "down Under" who I met at Affiliate Summit 2006). If you are ready to find some great affiliate programs, then you will be able to find categories of affiliate programs on these sites, which will generally represent the type of products you would like to sell.
Search engines love content, and so do your site visitors. Content is one of the most important aspects of getting people to your web site, and helping them to see the value in what you're selling. You should strive to choose programs with products which are related to your web site. In other words, if you have a site which features information about the Toyota Camry, you're going to be pretty hard pressed to be able to get your page content matched up so that you could sell, say... baby rattles. Find affiliate programs which relate to what you already do, and then promote those products.
Finally, see if you can find someone to actually talk to (email works well) who has received regular checks or payments from marketing products. I think that this is, perhaps, the most important part of any affiliate program, because the main reason you promote their products is to receive a check for your efforts.
So there you have it, some simple tips for choosing great affiliate programs! Hope this helps you to reach your income goals, and also helps you to develop a long-term plan for on and off-line financial and personal success.